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Alex Hirst

I have been working for Hatmill since October 2015. Having previously worked for two of the top UK grocery retailers my expertise is predominately based around Supply Chain forecasting and replenishment systems.

During my second year Business Management Degree I undertook a placement year at ASDA, within their Produce Supply Chain Team. The placement gave me the opportunity to test theory in a business setting. The role involved managing promotional forecasts and planning for major events. I worked closely with IPL growing the sales of SKUs in their exotic fruit range. Using tools such as pallets deals, specific promotions and tastings in store we grew some SKUs sales by 500%. The complexity, size and volume of the pallet deals necessitated that I worked closely with the logistics team which gave me an understating of the timing and resourcing constraints that they are accustomed to and how supply chain co-operation can improve efficiency.

On graduating from University I joined the Morrisons Supply Chain team. I spent one and a half years at Morrisons at a time when the company was growing their convenience offering, opening as many as 5 stores a week. Being involved in identifying development opportunities gave me a taste for what I believed consultancy work would entail. I made the decision to leave the Morrisons team and join Hatmill in a Consultancy role.

My most recent Consultancy project with Hatmill was working with one of the UK’s leading wholesalers, implementing a new forecasting system. The aim of the project was to decrease inventory while maintaining availability.

My past experience using bespoke forecasting systems at both ASDA and Morrisons enables me to examine the development opportunities of forecasting systems and to maximise its functionality. Hatmill’s relationship with the client led to us being involved in activities which were not part of the initial project scope. Consequently we aided the client with the recruitment and restructure process of the supply chain team.

The main changes which were implemented and development benefits identified through the project are noted below:

  • The average decrease in inventory was 17%. More over stocked suppliers saw inventory decreases exceed £300,000 (50%)
  • Identifying and managing the development opportunities of the system
  • Aiding users development to allow them to optimise the parameters to maximise the systems full potential
  • Developed bespoke reports to aid the ordering process
  • Creation of ‘Issues Flow Charts’ allowing Stock Managers to resolve their own issues and develop their personal knowledge of the system
  • Aided the company in recruitment for the supply chain team
  • Managed psychometric testing for the supply chain team
  • Aided in the development and implementation of a new supply chain structure and new job roles

In my personal life I enjoy staying active and have taken part in numerous runs such as the Manchester half marathon and in doing so raised over £1,500 for charity.